I may be unapologetically obsessed with dirt. Since there’s a natural antidepressant that comes with sinking your hands into dirt, I am not sorry. Who knew playing with dirt improves your mood and life? This is the easiest shortcut to improving your mental health I can think of, other than exercise. With Earth Day on the horizon soon there’s no better time to indulge a child’s natural wonder for dirt.
Make Your Own Mini Garden Sensory Bin
- Bag of potting soil or dirt
- 62L under-the-bed storage container
- Powered sugar carrots (look in candy aisle)
- Gardening tools
- Watering Can
- Live plants (if desired)
We took this one outside on the lawn to play with while us parents were cleaning up our front yard, and finally removing those pesky Christmas lights. I filled a bucket full of water so that the kids could dip their water cans in it at their own speed.
- Dig Up the Carrots: Let your child pull up the carrots out from the bin. Explain about how carrots are a root vegetable & the fruit (carrot) is also the root.
- Plant a Carrot: Practice making rows for your seeds with your trowel, and planting your carrot seeds in each one. Water them to help them grow. Don’t forget to talk about what makes seeds grow (sunshine, warmth & water!)
- Water!: Let your child water all the plants in the garden box. After mine were done, they tackled any little bit of green they could find sprouting in our front beds and we talked about what each plant was and which ones were weeds
- Pull That Plant: If you included a live plant in your box, dig it up and show it’s roots, flowers and leaves and how they work together (check our post on Photosynthesis out for more ideas).